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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Adobe Photoshop Elements 11
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Post by Paul Harbath on August 10, 2013

Where are the downloadable PDFs of the shortcuts Mike talks about? He said something about in the "Quick Links"?

The Tool Bar & Important Tool Shortcuts

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:07
  • Photoshop Elements 10 vs. Photoshop Elements 11 0:54
  • The Tool Bar 3:13
    • Primary Photoshop Elements Tools - Defined
    • Photoshop Elements 11 Tools and One Key Shortcuts
    • Important Tools and Their Shortcuts
    • Zoom Tool
    • Hand Tool
    • Move Tool
    • Selection Tools
    • Spot Healing Brush Tool & Rubber Stamp Tool
    • Sponge Tool
    • Brush Tool & Eraser Tool
    • Gradient Tool
    • Text Tool
    • Crop Tool
    • Brushes Shortcuts
  • Lesson Summary 14:56

Transcription: The Tool Bar & Important Tool Shortcuts

Hi, everybody--Mike Brown back with you again; welcome back to's Adobe Photoshop Element Beginning and Intermediate course!0000

In this lesson, we're going to take a good look at the Toolbar, which is probably one of the most important aspects of your workspace, and you will be using tools of all kinds to do all of the work--not all of the work, but a great deal of the work--on your images.0007

We're going to investigate it; I'm going to show you some of the primary tools, how they work; not all of the tools; and I'm going to show you the Tool Options Bin and some very important tool shortcuts for very frequently-used tools that will save you an enormous amount of time.0025

Time is everything, because the more time you have, and the easier it is to work, the more work you can get done, and the more creative the work that you can do.0045

Let's get started in this lesson!0054

First, I would like to pull up the image I have here; this is the Photoshop Elements 10 workspace, and if you happen to be working in Elements 10, I wanted to compare the Toolboxes (the Toolbar--I call it a Toolbox; some people call it a Toolbar--I may switch back and forth).0057

Notice, in 11, the Toolbar or the Toolbox is on the left side of the workspace, and it's a 2-up presentation, and the tools have categories: the View category, the Select category, the Enhance category, Draw, Modify, and Color.0080

There are no new tools in 11 versus Elements 10; they are identically the same; it's only the organization in the Toolbar that is different.0100

Over here, in Elements (I'm going to highlight the same tool) 10, you see this specific tool that I have highlighted right here; it's the Rubber Stamp tool, or the Clone tool.0112

The little white dot indicates, in the submenu in 10--you click and hold on the Toolbar, and you get the fly-out menu; in 11, every time you hit a tool, the Options Bin opens up, and there are your subtools, along with your options in the Bin--a lot easier to find them and switch back and forth--that's what they did...organized it.0130

That is that part of it; I'm going to move up, and for that tool, the options always appeared right above the workspace.0152

They have moved the tool options down into the Tool Bin, as well as the fly-out menus--consolidated them.0162

As you can see, the Toolbar in its single fashion--they have consolidated the tools into usable categories; that is the only difference between 10 and 11.0170

So, everything I talk about here in 11, those of you with 10--no problem; they're just in a little different position, OK?0180

Let's get back to that title.0190

In fact, what I'm going to do is pull up this particular file right here; these are all of the tools in the Toolbox, by name and what they do.0193

The tools that I don't go over in this lesson--you can find them right here.0206

Here, also, is the Toolbox with the name of the tool and the single-key shortcut to activate that tool.0211

For example, look over in the Toolbar right now; the highlighted tool is the Clone tool, which I can tell you is the letter S; and if we go over here to the Clone tool/Rubber Stamp pattern tool, there is the letter S.0219

If I want to highlight the zoom tool, the shortcut is the letter Z, and there is the zoom tool.0233

If I wanted to highlight this tool, the Lasso tool, the shortcut is L; for the brushes, it's B; for the Text tool, it's the letter T; for the Crop tool, it's the letter C.0239

You notice how easy it was for me to do that; you're shifting back and forth, from tool to tool, by knowing the letter on the keyboard, which saves you a lot of time.0251

If I'm working on an image, right over here, with this particular tool, and I need to go to the Zoom tool, and I go over here, and I come back, and I zoom it--I need to zoom up, so I go change it...and I zoom up a couple of times...and now I go back to that tool...every time I did that was a couple of seconds.0261

Knowing the single-key shortcuts for each of the tools, or most of them, will save you an enormous amount of time, and it allows you to focus on what you are doing, rather than having to go and look away and come back.0283

You stay with it; stay in the tools; just very simply hit the shortcuts.0297

Now, this particular file, as well as the tool definitions file, as well as this file here that has some important tools and shortcuts (which I will be showing you)--all of this is available in a downloadable PDF, in the Quick Notes, right under the broadcast window for this lesson.0303

Let's get started with the Toolbar!0325

Up at the top, under the View category, is the Zoom and the Hand tool; the traditional method (hit the Zoom tool; it has the plus sign; you click, it goes up; if you hit the minus button, it goes down) takes too much time; if it's in the plus, hit the Option (or the Alt key, if you're on a PC) and watch the icon: it's a minus; it goes from plus to minus, just using the Option or Alt.0330

There is a shortcut, right there--much better; we're going to deal with zoom tool shortcuts right now: in any tool--you don't ever have to go to the zoom tool at all!0355

We're in the Rubber Stamp tool right now; if I want to zoom up, Command on a Mac/Control on a PC, and the plus sign, zooms up; Command on a Mac/Control on a PC, and the minus sign, zooms down.0366

If I want to fit it to the window: Command on a Mac/Control on a PC, and the number 0, fits it right to the window.0381

There it is: Zoom tool hint #2, right there!0389

The "Click up and down using Option" is Zoom tool #1.0394

Zoom tool shortcut #3: (I'm going to do Command or Control, 0, to fit) In any tool, at any time, if I want to zoom up to just this little section, where the flower is open, hold down Command on a Mac/Control on a PC, and the spacebar: watch the tool--it changes to the Zoom tool; click and drag across the area that you want to see, and it zooms right up to that area.0400

I'll do it with another tool: I'm in the Brush tool, where we're painting around; I want to paint and look right on this area, here; Command or Control and the spacebar; click and drag across that area; and we zoomed right up to it.0429

These are very, very important (I'm going to zoom that out of there).0445

That takes care of the Zoom tool and all of the shortcuts to help you make that Zoom tool work a lot easier; you will never have to click this at all.0451

The next tool over is the Hand tool (we'll go to the tools); the Hand tool moves an entire image.0461

What that means is, if I am fitting the window (I want you to be aware of this), if I'm fitting just exactly in the window (that's Command or Control, 0), the Hand tool doesn't do anything.0470

If it's zoomed smaller than the document window (let's go down one--Command or Control, minus), it still doesn't do anything.0488

Smaller or equal to the document window: you can't move the entire image around.0497

However, if you are magnified at any magnification beyond fitting the window, the Hand tool moves the entire image.0505

So, if you wanted to work on this corner (let's just go to the flower)--if I want to work down here, I'll just magnify it one time; I hit the Hand tool; and I move it over.0517

Now, another shortcut for this tool--very important--you use the Zoom tool and the Hand tool all the time; if I'm zoomed up and want to move around and work on this thing, I'm using the Hand tool.0529

Again, we're in another tool: to get to the Hand tool, simply hold down your spacebar; watch the tool; it's now the Hand tool.0541

I'm back--I'm on this tool; I'm going to go to the Brushes tool; hit the spacebar--I can move my entire image.0551

The Zoom tool and the Hand tool can be accessed very simply: Command+, Command- for the Zoom tool; spacebar for the Hand tool, at any time and with any tool: very important; it will save you a ton of time.0557

Now, let's go with a couple more very important tools: the Move tool--second line down on the left.0573

The shortcut, by the way, for the Zoom tool is the letter Z; for the Hand tool, it's the letter H; for the Move tool, it's the letter V.0581

I was on the Brushes tool (letter B); if I want to move a layer, notice over here on the right, in the panels, I have several layers; this layer is the logo layer--let's say I wanted to move that logo down a little bit in this image.0589

All I have to do is hit the letter V (shortcut for the Move tool); it's highlighted; I close the Options box; we're on a highlighted layer; I move the tool inside of the bounding box, and notice, I have the arrow; click, and--oops!--I got the wrong layer!0609

Click and drag, and it moves the active layer wherever you want it to.0627

I could put it down at the bottom now, and I could take the title, activate that layer, and click and drag and move that layer up.0632

That is the difference between the Hand tool, which moves the whole image, and the Move tool, which move individual layers.0641

Very important--those three tools you're going to use a lot (I'm just backing it up until we get back to where we were).0651

Selection tools: Marquee, Lasso, and the quick-selection Magic Wand and Selection Brush tools--these make selections, and I will just very quickly show you what a selection is.0659

These are all consolidated under the Select menu.0674

The Freehand tool--I just draw a Freehand selection, and if I (well, actually, I need to go--let me change to a real flower) wanted to darken up an area, I just take the Freehand tool.0678

I'm just going to do this really roughly and play with it for a moment.0695

I have made a selection, which allows me to lighten or darken isolated areas--notice, inside it changed; outside it didn't; selections are so vital.0698

Selection tools are here.0712

Enhancement tools are your retouch tools: for example, if I wanted to remove this little dark blotch here on the flower, I can do it two ways.0714

Here are the healing tools: I can use one or the other--I change my brush size, and with a healing tool, all I have to do is paint over, and magically, it disappeared; it's back.0726

With the Rubber Stamp tool, I clone it away; I'll take a different section, and I'll paint over and clone that area away and fix it.0742

That is what those tools do--actually retouching the image.0754

The Sponge tool desaturates parts of an image: notice, as I paint over, it's taking away the color from that section: Command/Control+z, Command/Control+y, and you can see what that is.0758

These are the retouch tools.0772

Drawing tools: I think you have figured out what they do already: they draw!0774

That is the Brush tool; the Eraser tool--what it will do is erase back to transparency; there are other tools that are available in there.0779

The Gradient tool I use a lot: it makes gradients--pretty simple.0791

The other tools in there: the Text tool--you will use that a lot; it allows you to create text.0796

We get down to the modified tools, which allow you to modify an image.0804

In this case, we're going to go with the Crop tool: the shortcut for the Crop tool is the letter C; notice, I have the Crop tool; I crop and change my image into a cropped version.0809

Other tools in here--those are the basic tools within the Toolbar.0823

So, to recap this particular lesson, I'm going to go back to the categories.0828

We took the Zoom tool and the Hand tool and the Move tool--the three most important tools that you use most of the time: Hand tool, Move tool (let me just, very quickly, actually draw it--we're going to make a couple of notes here)...0836

We worked the Hand tool, which moves the entire image; the Move tool moves layers; and there are three shortcuts for the Zoom tool.0851

The Selection brush, which I'm not going to go over right now, and the brushes--there is one more shortcut I want to give you for brushes.0861

For any tool that has a brush--and notice that, as I increase the size of the brush, which I could do right here, the circle got larger; but I don't need to go to the options to change the size of any brush; the right bracket key on your keyboard increases the brush size, and the left bracket key decreases the brush size.0869

Now, this page, as well as the tool definition page, as well as the tools with their single-key shortcuts, will be in a PDF in the Quick Notes for this particular lesson, and probably in a couple more lessons--it's very important that you download these.0895

I cannot stress enough to learn the single-key shortcuts; as you begin to work, make sure that you try to use the shortcuts--it will save you an enormous amount of time, and life is easy.0914

We've gone over the Toolbar, the Tool Options, and some very important tool shortcuts in this lesson; I will see you back in the next lesson!0928